December 31 2014 Passage rates in 2014 for Rainbow Trout and Chinook Salmon were
considerably lower at the
(Beaver River, Ontario) and the
Denny's Dam Fishway
(Saugeen River, Ontario), due to multiple confounding
factors. These include below average temperatures and
increased precipitation, turbulence caused by woody debris,
and mechanical malfunction (i.e. non-functioning
self-cleaning mechanism). However, an actual decrease in the
passage rate of Salmonids is also supported by trap data
conducted by the fishway management team.
This year we have deployed six new underwater fish
monitoring and counting systems.
Node 12 was
Scully Creek, Terrace, British Columbia, to observe
migrating Pink Salmon, Sockeye Salmon and Cutthroat Trout (Node
12 Archive). Node 13,
was deployed at Lake Eugenia, Ontario to monitor Sportfish
and Carp populations. Significant observations reveal huge
schools of adult Carp and
hundreds of skinny juvenile Yellow Perch, which may be a
result of the lack of food due to abundant Zebra Mussel
Nodes 14-17 are deployed in the
Menominee River, to monitor migrating Lake Sturgeon through
the Menominee Dam in Michigan (Node
15) and the Parkmill Dam
in Wisconsin (Node 16 &
17). These locations are
also retrofitted with custom made
Antennas to track the movement of PIT tagged Lake
During the field season, the state of the Grand River was
improved. Algal growth and vegetation was not as prolific as
seen in previous years. This may be due to colder than
average temperatures and delayed ice melt.
September 25 2013 We have upgraded and
significantly improved live streaming for
node 10 and
node 11 and we can
support a potentially unlimited viewing audience. Lets
test how many machines we can serve to before we see all
that buffering nonsense again! We have also bridged
some of the cross-platform incompatibility issues that we
have faced for a long time and we can now support Ipod/Iphone
and other Apple products. We are working on Android
operating systems and hopefully we will be able to provide live streaming on these machines soon. All other
nodes will be upgraded when full field testing is complete
at N10 and N11.
Fish counts at
Thornbury and Southampton (Ontario) continue to be a
challenge as we are still working on our automated algorithms.
However, fish passage of Salmonids continue to be observed.
The nature-like fishway at Thornbury is more effective at
passing Salmonids than the modified pool-weir-orifice type
Node 1 is
currently being upgraded, but due to flood conditions in the Grand
project has been delayed. The
condition of Grand River has improved; algal growth has been
noted to be reduced compared to previous year. This
may be due increased precipitation and cold winter
2 2013 In 2013, we have
executed a fully automated tracking project with 40 radio-tagged
Suckers in the Welland River, conducted a fish spawning
survey at a diamond mine
Ontario, with underwater cameras and standard sampling
techniques, and worked
with Simbiota for an assessment of fish passage structures
June 22nd, Smallmouth Bass were observed guarding their nest
in the Grand River during opening of the angling season near Deer Ridge/Doon.
In addition, Walleye were angled for the first time by our
sampling crew in the central Grand near Deer Ridge. We
also caught and examined White
Sturgeon in the Columbia River at Astoria in
April 24 2013 Broadband underwater video is now
being filtered and re-broadcast through a CDN network to
support a larger viewing audience for Node 10 and Node 11.
We would like to thank Scott Kidwell and HuronMedia for
assisting us with this process.
precipitation have resulted in poor visibility for our
underwater fish monitoring and counting systems. Fish
passage have been difficult to accurately gauge at Node 11
as hydraulic conditions in the fishway have been compromised
by debris and high water velocity.
April 4 2013 The underwater fish monitoring and
counting systems for Node 10 and Node 11 have been deployed
fully operational. We have reduced the streaming
bit-rate to accommodate multiple simultaneous viewers for
our live streaming. We are beginning online experimentation with a CDN
re-broadcast system that will facilitate streaming to a much
wider audience than preciously possible. Our goal is
to provide full broad-band streaming from all of our BRAVO
nodes within the next few months. In addition, our pilot
system (Node 1) in the Grand River and Node 3 at the Queens
University Biological Station will be de-commissioned and
upgraded to a self-cleaning system.
March 15 2013 The Node 10 system at Thornbury
is now deployed and secured with U- Bolts to prevent
movement of camera as seen in 2012.
count in 2011 and 2012
showed remarkable similarity, despite the fact that fish
migration began in mid March in 2012 versus April in 2011.
This year we continue to record fish passage, as well as,
(Silver Lamprey Sea Lamprey)
movement through the Thornbury fishway as they attach to
October 10 2012 -
Thornury and Denny's Dam Fishways
Power was disrupted for mainline repairs at Node 11 and we
are now working to restore the satellite link. We hope
to have the system back online by tomorrow. We would
really like to adjust the Node 10 camera that was knocked
out of place by large Salmon, but we will wait until the run
subsides. We are
still able to accurately process fish passage data, but the image quality
counter nodes are still works in progress. It is not
an easy task to build algorithms and processes to accurately
count, identify and size-class fish using video cameras and
image processing - but we are pretty good at what we do
given the challenges we face. The BRAVO system is
being refined on a daily basis and data are being accurately
uploaded as they are processed, but sometimes there may be a
delay of several hours to several days. We are
currently limited by system resources and funding. In
addition, there are some misconceptions about why we have
built and deployed this network in the first place. It
is not designed to let anglers know where and when is the
best time or place to go fishing. Just because fish
pass our counting systems in the fishways does not exclude
the possibility that fish fall back over the dams, hold up
in head-ponds or other deep pools and many other factors
that affect anglers and tourists interpretation of our data
relative to their pursuit of seeing or catching fish.
Our information from this network should be considered preliminary
(as usually noted) until we are able
to process all the relevant data that our system produces.
It is all stored onsite, and is effectively transferred to
our servers automatically under most circumstances.
The full complement of data from any one site may take
several days to verify and accurately process, so please do
not plan your day around our counts, because they are
subject to change (increase). Live
feeds are good though, so if you see fish live, we are
counting them and there are fish going through the
structures that are being monitored in real-time.
note - there are important and exciting system upgrades that
we expect to announce in early 2013.
September 28 2012
- Denny's Dam Fishway
OK - so we
finally got something good going at Denny's. With new
LED lighting, different camera placement, fish guidance with
the funnel, reflective background and increased water
clarity the system is finally starting to function as
intended. Improvements will continue to be made until
we have achieved complete system performance.
September 25 2012
- Fishway Counts
the data files sent from Thornbury and Denny's dam in
Southampton to our server are corrupt and we are missing
data here in Kitchener, although it is all saved onsite
(as with all of our nodes at each location). The counts
distributions will be updated after we retrieve the raw
computers onsite and by the end of the year all of the
collected from this site will be analyzed and posted
to resolve the corrupt file problem and it appears it is
the internet connection and the popularity of the feed
all of the bandwidth onsite. We have several plans in the
help solve this and we are certain that at least one of
also have problems at Denny's dam that we are addressing
efforts to rectify on Thursday of this week (related to
bandwidth issues with our satellite link).
features of Biotactic.com are currently functional (except
water temps at Thornbury-hardware issue onsite) and php
issues related to our hosting shift have been rectified.
August 30 2012 - Website upgrade
shifted our website to a different hosting company and in the
process some features of our BRAVO network are temporarily
unavailable, such as sensor data streaming and some images
require modification. We will have the website fully
functional and operational within a week.
August 27 2012 - Chinook Salmon Migration at Node 10
individual fish using
marks such as lamprey scars, lampreys, fin abrasion, unusual
coloration, deformities, pigmentation patterns, etc, we have
found that Chinook Salmon can spend multiple days inside the
Thornbury fishway. We
hope to start conducting telemetry experiments to find out
exactly how long these fish are inside the fishway or
whether they leave and return at a later date.
March 16 2012 - Monitoring at Node 10
Node 10 is back online
and counting of fish usage has resumed in time for the
(unusually early) upstream migration of rainbow trout. Fish
counts using our algorithms, combined with trapping at the
fishway are being posted as they become available and can be
January 18 2012 - Unusual Weather Patterns
When was the last
time there was no ice on the river in the middle of winter?
I wonder how many people are thinking the same thing.
There are tulips poking out of the ground and
it isn't even groundhog day yet. Here in Southern
Ontario, the air temperature is flipping back and forth
across the freezing mark like Lake Huron Chinook salmon
vacillate in front of our
fishway cameras. It is going to be an interesting
spring and another interesting summer indeed - just some
thoughts about the current state of our crazy, apparently La
Nina induced, but ever so unusual winter of 2011/2012.
January 9 2012 - State of the Grand River
We have never
seen the Grand River in such poor condition since we began
working on it 17 years ago. There is so much construction,
including two new high traffic bridges, a poorly planned and
placed pedestrian bridge (Walter Bean trail bridge in Doon)
that will require people to hike across a City of Kitchener
owned golf course (serious public safety and liability
issues are sure to occur and it is a matter of time before
people are injured by golf balls), and a forced main sewage
line that has been installed with great difficulty under
Schneider's Creek at its confluence with the Grand River.
The river is choked full of sediment and mud. Our
Node 1 camera (online since
2005) is embedded in mud and has been for several months.
This is the second year in a row that we were unable to
document successful reproduction by black redhorse (species
at risk), and sedimentation and deposition of silt has
surely negatively affected endangered mollusks such as the
wavy-rayed lamp mussel. This is also the first year
that the river has not been frozen over upstream from the
Mannheim weir in January. Our predictions for improved
water quality and impacts on fisheries in the Grand River
are dire to say the very least over the next several years.
December 21 2011 - BRAVO system update
in the Thornbury Fishway (Beaver River) has been turned off
for the winter. The fishway was dewatered on December
counts broken down by species and the 2011 data summary
of fish counts in relation to water temperature and river
level have been posted on Node 10 links. This system
as well as Node 11 we be
back online around Mid March 2012.
Node 1 is a non
self-cleaning system, and maintenance has been hindered by
elevated water levels due to flooding in the Grand River
since November. When river levels recede, the lens
will be cleaned and image quality improved.
December 10 2011 -
System information updates
Node 6 in the Rock River,
Wisconsin is back online after persistent electrical
problems at the dam.
Fish count summaries and species composition are now online
and temperature data for Node 10
have been standardized to noon
local time throughout the dataset for the year. The camera has been removed from the
fishway to repair the lens cleaning system that was bent by
crazy salmon earlier this fall. It will be re-installed in March
2012 when the fishway
river continues to be flooded and we are unable to access
and clean important submerged equipment (e.g.,
Node 1 camera and sensors)
until flow levels subside.
Node 2 full duplex PIT
system remains online and fully functional after continuous
operation for 26 months and counting.
10 2011 - System information updates
at Denny's dam on the Saugeen River, Ontario, has been
installed and tested; however we will not be streaming or
analyzing data from this site until rainbow trout migration
begins in March 2012.
Node 10 was repaired but the camera
and sensors will be removed for the
Node 9 is being
upgraded and will be online as soon as conditions permit.
October 17 2011 - Self-cleaning system at Node 10 damaged
(temporarily) by large fish
We will repair the self cleaning mechanism at
that was damaged by a group of large Chinook salmon in the
fishway. At the moment, only half the lens is being
cleaned. Power is out in Thornbury today, so live
streaming will resume once local electrical service is
October 14 2011 - Live feed buffering and bandwidth
issues related to overwhelming popularity of live underwater
occasions we have a lot of internet traffic at our
monitoring nodes that interferes with the live stream.
The stream continues to buffer until enough data is loaded
to show images. We have had several weeks when we
received around 11K hits per day at one node. Our
systems are using internet connections to send data to our
servers for processing. The public feed is a bit of a
bonus, and the primary function of our fishway monitoring
systems is to provide fish count and fish activity data for
research and management. If you continue to have
buffering issues it may be related to user bandwidth
limitations, but remember that the systems are doing their
job in the background.
October 13 2011 - Fishway monitoring and fish counting
monitoring and automated fish counting systems (Node
10) are not designed to indicate to anglers how
many fish may be available
to be caught
upstream (as some of you think based on your emails).
The systems are designed to indicate levels of fish activity
and timing/seasonality during periods of fish migration in
the fishways. Since the systems are at the fishway
exits (upstream end) we are able to enumerate fish that
leave the fishway. Most fish pass by the system one
time and are easily identified, size-classed and counted
(e.g., rainbow trout). However, some fish such as
Chinook salmon move up and down within the fishway and at
the fishway exit repeatedly. Our systems detect
individual identifying marks such as lamprey scars,
lampreys, fin abrasion, unusual coloration, deformities,
pigmentation patterns, etc so we are usually able to count
fish that move back and forth across our detector and camera
only once. This is not always possible and to maintain
accuracy with our counts, we provide a high and low estimate
and give a range of values. This variation at Thornbury in particular, is related to the behaviour of
Chinook salmon in the fishway, and not our systems' ability
to accurately count fish.